Thursday, August 26, 2010

St. Stephen's Green

If ever you are in Dublin, Ieland, be sure to take a long walk through St. Stephen's Green.
It's a lovely 22-acre park (the second largest in Dublin) with lots of color and large green expanses. It's just across the street from the Shelbourne Dublin Hotel, a beautiful place to stay. It also borders the popular Grafton Street Shopping Centre.

Here are a couple of shots I took when there this spring.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Dublin flowers

When I was in Europe this past spring, I was impressed with the use of flowers in landscaping and as art.

In the Shelbourne Dublin at St. Stephen's Green Hotel in Dublin, Ireland, the lobby was filled with a fantastic arrangement. Since the hotel is across the street from the famous St. Stephen's Green Park, which is magnificent, it seemed fitting.

Here's what greeted us as we walked into the lobby.

Tomorrow, I'll post photos from the garden.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

August birth flower - the gladilous

Yes, I know I am a bit behind talking about the birth flower for August. You would think a month planted right in the middle of the hottest time of the year, when the days last so long you think they never will end, would crawl by. Not so this month, at least for me.

As a child, I loved glads. My grandmother always had a row of the tall, cheerful blooms along the side of the chicken house. I especially liked that they had so many blooms, one opening to help ease the loss every time an earlier one died. That held so much comfort to a child who mourned the death of anything that crossed her path, no matter how insignificant to others, from a dragonfly to a flower.

I've always had this thing about holding up a flower petal and studying it through the back light of sunshine. I know, I am weird. It's not as if I haven't heard this all my life. I much prefer to think of it as an insatiable curiosity about the magical properties of all living things. so much of life goes unseen, and I don't want to miss a single moment of beauty.

Despite the fact that I have seen far too many glads standing tall near a casket of someone important to my life, I forgive them. They didn't choose to become a "funeral" flower, no more than carnations did.

My two favorite glads couldn't be any different. I cannot resist the luminous white blooms that fill the vases at the Macaroni Grill in Houston. They are so showy and lovely. My other favorite is the modest hardy gladiolus that springs up around old homesteads. The blooms are much smaller, but their vivid fuchsia color more than makes up for it. I have been tempted many times to "liberate" some from an empty field, but have yet to do so.

This pretty member of the iris family (Iridaceae) represents strength of character, sincerity and generosity, all traits to be admired.

Click here to see a great shot of the hardy glad on Dave's Garden web site.